By Eric Ludeya
Algerian government recently commemorated the 62nd anniversary of the uprising of the glorious revolution of the 1st of November in 1954.
During the commemoration, Algerian Ambassador to Kenya H.E Salah Francis El Hamdi noted that,62 years ago, few small groups of young people, men and women, spread across the whole country, only armed with their courage and resolution, lighted the wick that was to free Algeria and to embroil the African continent still under colonial rule.
That grimmer of hope they brought to all wretched of the Earth was and still is the given word of honor of a better future made of freedom and dignity. After eight years of long fierce and relentless fight during which a million and a half people lost their lives, Algeria restored its national sovereignty and initiated the most noble battle for social and economic development to achieve progress and general prosperity.
‘’During the fight for freedom and long after, Algeria has never failed to pledge a steadfast and multifaceted support to every and each liberation movement in Africa, contributing thereby to kick out colonialism and Apartheid regime from the continent,’’said the Ambassador.
He added that, today in Africa, the people of Western Sahara are still suffering the plague of colonial occupation and the many abuses coming with. These people fight with dignity for their legitimate right to self-determination through a free and fair referendum under the United Nations oversight.
The commitment of Algeria for peace, security and stability in Africa has never been denied. Even during the 1990’s, the “black decade”, when Algeria fought against a despicable and blind terrorism, ”an evil which doesn’t belong to any culture or religion, making no distinction between women, children and elders,”But despite all its barbarity, terrorism didn’t succeed to undermine the people’s faith in their institutions, their leaders or in their national security forces which managed, alone, to eliminate that threat.
The Ambassador said that, Algerian inestimable experience in the fight against terrorism was made available to the International community in order to eradicate this global threat to all mankind. However, the armed fight alone cannot prevail. The security response should be accompanied with a national reconciliation and de-radicalization process aiming at the total elimination of violent extremism.
‘’Despite all the difficult challenges it implies, Algerian President Mr. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, upon his election as head of the State in 1999, opted for the way of wisdom in order to restore peace, security and stability and to allow the Algerian People, after all the sacrifices made, to take up the path towards development and progress,’’observed the Envoy.
These fundamental and wise choices, namely Peace and National Reconciliation, were materialized in the amendments inserted into the Constitution in February 2016. This new Constitution provides a more active citizen’s participation to the democratic life of the Nation, particularly by granting a more important and active role of the opposition. It also takes care of the most important concerns and issues expressed by the People such as the environment protection, the recognition of the official status granted to the Amazigh language, and more rights and space to the media.
Major progress and achievements were accomplished in the socio-economic areas making the proudness of our People. Thousands of schools, dozens of universities, hospitals, roads and highways networks were built across the national territory, in a way that profoundly transforms the lives of our citizens and makes Algeria an economic power able to contribute vigorously to the emergence of the Continent.
Said the Envoy”Algeria is still making these colossal efforts taking always into account the African dimension and anchoring by the natural momentum of cooperation, mutual aid and solidarity within an integration spirit and a shared prosperity.”
The Trans-Saharan Road between Algiers and Lagos in Nigeria with many branches, the Fibrotic network following the same line and the gas pipeline between Algeria and Nigeria, among other projects on the African Union Agenda 2063, aim to strengthen that dimension and to offer the best socio-economic opportunities to the African peoples.
He observed that, in this way, Algiers will hold from the 3rd to 5th of December 2016, an African Forum on investments and business. This event, the first to be organized by an African country for the benefit of Africa, will be the perfect forum for political leaders, public and private entrepreneurs and investors from Africa to discuss and create the necessary interactions for the promotion of growth and development on the continent.
The momentum Algeria endeavors to arouse in the continent has always been there, fortunately and for a long time now, with Kenya. The official visit of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta to Algiers, in February 2015, the first of a Kenyan President to Algeria since both countries attained independence, allowed the strengthening of the excellent friendship links and cooperation deeply rooted between our two countries.
During the visit, the Embassy of Kenya in Algiers was opened giving a real and useful content to add to our cooperation that will, for sure, go further in all fields. The considerable convergence between the point of views of both countries on the regional, continental and international issues is likely to develop and to feed a continuous dialogue serving the interests of the Algerian and Kenyan peoples and including that of Africa.
Ambassador Salah said the forthcoming first session of the Algerian-Kenyan joint cooperation committee will open new and important prospects in the fields of finance, justice, energy, education, sciences, agriculture, trade, health, culture, sports etc. And it will draw the general legal framework for a dense and diverse partnership.
This will complete and go beyond the many scholarships granted to young Kenyans. A real human proximity through a wide cooperation to build a brothers-to-brothers relations lasting for the next generations.